I once lived a life where my prolonged existence deemed improbable. It wasn’t obvious to most, but mental illness slowly deteriorated my existence. The notches on the battery icon hanging over my head slowly winded down until there was one notch left. It was blinking red. I only had so much time left before I became a statistic.
February 15th, 2010
I woke up knowing I had to make a decision. Was I going to let my battery drain completely? Or was I going to desperately find a way to recharge? I normally found getting out of bed difficult, but the anticipation of what was to come took away the heinousness. I walked downstairs and waited for my dad to leave for work. I didn’t feel anything anymore, rather everything once meaningful to me didn’t matter. I was numb, and I was ready to take my life. I then desperately made a plea for help, and I was rushed to the hospital by my loving mother, tears running down her face and in complete horror. My battery blinked red urging me to recharge for many days, but the fear creeping through my mom, my dad, and I gave me a sense of life. I was ready for help, and I desperately needed it.
I spent a week at SummitRidge in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and my eating disorder finally had a name. I went into the hospital for suicidal thoughts, but doctors in the hospital recognized I was dealing with something I’m continuously reminded of to this day. My heart rate and blood pressure were dangerously low, and I only consumed salads (no dressing, of course) and refused to eat the Cheez-Its and Ritz Crackers they often offered for a snack. In addition, my size 00 jeans were falling off of me during group therapy, and since we couldn’t wear belts in the unit, the skeletal entity underneath caught the attention of my care team. I spent a week in the hospital – including my 14th birthday – and I learned how selfish taking my life would have been. This hospital stay was the beginning of a long and enduring path of recovery, and it’s a path I still find myself prodding along. Recovery is a blessing, and so are those who’ve helped pave this path for me so I can continue traveling on it for the rest of my life.
I am alive today. Twenty-one years of being alive were made possible because I wanted it, and because others helped make it possible. Furthermore, climbing is such an integral part of my life and my recovery, and I owe a good amount of my persistence to continue to stay healthy to the climbing lifestyle I’ve chosen and everything stemming from it. In addition, my studies in school and my desire to learn something new drives me to wake up and chase the unknown. The unknown is scary, and although the path of my recovery isn’t clear, I do know one thing: I am more powerful than my eating disorder, and I will live to see many years of a life that is ABSOLUTELY worth living.
To my family and friends that have made the path of recovery possible, thank you.